The Department of Trade and Industry is seeking a “waiver” on the limitations set for the export of hydration backpacks under the United States generalized system of preferences (GSP) to ensure the continued competitiveness of Philippine firms.
The granting of the waiver was necessary so that the US Trade Representative (USTR) Office will not remove hydration backpacks under the GSP scheme, as latest data showed that the US imports of this product were “currently above the allotted 50 percent share of the global imports.”
In his letter to the USTR, Trade Assistant Secretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo made an appeal for the granting of a waiver as the noted breach in import limits was suspected to be an anomaly. Also, the local production of hydration backpacks—which are used for military and recreational activities—directly employs thousands in the Philippines.
“As of today, US trade statistics demonstrate that imports of hydration backpacks from the Philippines are less than 1 percent over the established limits. Such small breach is insignificant in terms of the larger trade of this product and we believe is sufficient reason to extend the waiver. Furthermore, based on meetings that the Philippine government has held recently with some of the largest Philippine producers of hydration systems, we understand that the potential breach in 2015 is an anomaly resulting from production delays at the end of 2014, which resulted in larger than normal shipping to the US at the need of 2015 and into 2015,” Rodolfo said.
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